The National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has labelled President Nana Akufo-Addo as a failure in the fight against corruption.
Delivering an address titled, “The True State of the Nation Address” on Monday at the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah stated that the president’s actions and complicity have emboldened many of his officials, not just the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia whose name has come up in multiple corruption scandals.
“President Akufo-Addo’s silence on corruption in his infamous address was loud. It was as loud as his guilt. Evidently, corruption has defeated his family and friends’ government. Instead of confronting this canker head-on, President Akufo-Addo has constituted himself into a “Corruption Clearing Agent”, ever-willing to whitewash himself and any of his appointees who dabble in corruption, even before investigative processes commence.
“The President’s actions and complicity have emboldened many of his officials, not least the Vice President, Alhaji Bawumia whose name has come up in multiple corruption scandals such as the PDS scandal, the shady Gold-for-Oil deal, the Stolen Rice scandal and the appearance fee scandal”.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah also accused the President of desecrating Ghana’s national honours by conferring the honours on corrupt individuals in his government.
He said the awards scheme was established by Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah to honour distinguished Ghanaian nationals and institutions for their contributions to the development of the country.
For him, it was therefore untenable for the President to confer such honours on corrupt individuals whose cases are before Parliament for investigations.
He explained that awarding appointees whose corrupt acts are under investigation with national honours is tantamount to rewarding criminality, saying “Kwame Nkrumah did not establish the awards to reward criminality.”
According to Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, Akufo-Addo’s tenure has been characterised by hopelessness, corruption and leadership paralysis as every sector has declined leading to a high cost of living and punitive economic woes.
He added that claims by President Akufo-Addo that he knew how to revive the economy and not dead people was all political talk.
In his opinion, the President has failed in all indications of restoring the country’s economy and therefore cannot claim to know how to revive the economy.
He also accused the NPP of deceiving Ghanaians that a chunk of the funds the government has borrowed was injected into the construction of roads. According to the Chairman of the NDC, only 1.6 percent of over GH¢820 billion have been used for the construction of roads in the country.
“Despite being the luckiest and most resourced government in Ghana’s history, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government has the least to show in terms of socio-economic development. This is because the NPP has used all your money mainly for consumption. This is contrary to the President’s claim that his government has used “a large amount of the money we borrowed on road construction.”
“The President knows he deliberately misled Ghanaians with this claim because he is aware that only a minute amount of the overall resource envelope that has accrued to his government since 2017 has been used for the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the country.
“The truth is that only an abysmal 1.6% of the total resource envelope of GH¢820 billion has been spent on roads by this government. Official Government of Ghana records show that a whopping 93% of the GHS 820 billion has been spent on consumption, including Akufo-Addo’s 20,000 Euros an hour luxurious private jet travels across the world, hired over several months at huge cost to the taxpayer.
He also accused the Akufo-Addo government of wasting over GH¢30 billion of Covid-19 funds on election-related expenses.
“Covid-19 brought the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government a windfall of about GH¢30bn to manage and mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Unfortunately, this was wasted in election-related expenses,” he said.
He added that the President Akufo-Addo-led government has plunged the country’s economy into a ditch due to reckless spending and mismanagement.